What is the point of writing if nobody reads your work? What is the point of anything if there is no response to it. A great artist can do the most perfect painting known to humanity, but if nobody sees it, or appreciates it, there is something lost.
Therefore, popularity is important even when quality should seem more an absolute, and definable. You might like something, but it doesn’t make it good, but if nobody likes something, the ability to judge its impact will leave it forgotten or ignored. An artist told me to never stop working, that hunger, depression, fatigue are all good, if it means that the work will survive and be born. But we don’t live in a society that accepts, loves, or nutures the arts. We live in a society that commodifies the arts or ignores them based upon its own needs.
Starving artist is a cliché term referring to the fact that artists and creatives in general who commit to their work rarely make money, but to become the best in what you do, you must do that. You must make a choice as a creative, to do it for the work, whatever the reward, or to do it for the reward, and if there is none move on. All of the arts are peopled by talented creatives. But there are also people who succeed because of marketing what they do to the people who will respond... An artist who does not see that money is part of their work will starve.
This is not all to say that a creative should not do one or the other, or both. It is to say, that, for the world to appreciate the work, is to redeem the effort. To buy the work is to redeem the creative artist. Support a living creative, buy their work.